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Employee Spotlight: Rob Ross

Company: Acden Fleet

Position: Interprovincial Red Seal - Heavy Equipment Technician

In July 2014, Rob Ross began his 4-year apprenticeship as a Heavy Equipment Technician with Acden. In December 2018, he successfully completed the apprenticeship training program through Keyano College and as part of the training, earned his Interprovincial Red Seal as a Heavy Equipment Technician. After the New Year, we sat down with Rob to discuss his apprenticeship with Acden, how he got started and what his plans are for 2019.

When did your interest in mechanics begin?

My interest in mechanics came from taking shop classes at Father Mercredi High School, which then turned into a hobby. At one point, I realized I might be able to make a career out of something I enjoy doing and began researching the apprenticeship program and looking for potential employers.

Why Acden?

As an ACFN member, I thought I would have a chance getting a job with Acden. When I was given the opportunity to work for Acden it was very exciting. It made me want to meet the challenge of the opportunity I was given.

Tell us a bit about how you got the opportunity.

I started the application process by writing a letter to Acden, expressing my interest in the Heavy Equipment Technician apprenticeship program. My mom Rose Ross works for ACFN IRC; she talked with Garry Flett, CEO of Acden, about an apprenticeship with Acden and he agreed to interview me. When I met with Garry, I remember him asking me quite frankly if I was serious about taking on this trade. I appreciated how frank and honest the conversation was because Garry wanted to make sure my interest was genuine – for real. Based on that conversation I was given the opportunity to begin my career with Acden as an apprentice in the Acden Fleet shop, located next to Acden Headquarters in Taiganova.

What do you like most about being a Heavy Equipment Technician with Acden?

I like working on the trucks, looking after regular maintenance and troubleshooting issues we encounter with some of the trucks that come in. I also really enjoy working with my coworkers at Acden. They help make the day go smoothly and are just really fun to work with.

Now that you’ve completed your training, do you have any plans for further career development?

First, I would like to gain more experience as a Heavy Equipment Technician. Now that I’ve completed my training, I’m eager to utilize the skills I’ve learned. I’m interested in further training related to my trade, such as adding to my Class 3 Operator’s license by obtaining my Class 1 Operator’s license. I’m also interested in computer training related to my trade because technology is playing a greater role in truck maintenance and operations. Perhaps in the future, I would be interested in taking some business courses, for example, in management or leadership to increase what I have to offer to the ACFN and Acden.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I like snowboarding, dirt biking or anything outdoors. I’m also working towards getting my pilot’s license. In 2016 I completed 15 hours of flying but put my training on hold for a while to focus on my apprenticeship. I have now picked up flying again and am working towards accumulating 70/75 hours of flying to receive a license. Upon completing the training, I will be able to fly any single engine or single propeller aircraft when I am finished the training.

What sparked your interest in getting your pilot’s license?

I like the process of setting up the plane to fly just as much as I enjoy flying the plane. My interest in mechanics adds to my interest in how the plane works both on the ground and in the air. My grandfather, Bob Ross, Q.C. is a pilot himself and got me interested in getting my pilot’s licence. I want to get my private pilot’s license just as much for him as I do for myself.

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